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Czech, Slovak and Polish Agriculture Ministers to take EC to court

Agriculture ministers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland plan to take the European Commission (EC) to the European Court of Justice over the EC's decision to fine their countries for the over-supply of certain agricultural products.

The ministers came to this decision after their meeting of Visegrad Four Group (V4) agriculture ministers in Palárikovo (Nitra Region) on May 28 and 29. The fourth V4 member, Hungary, supports the move.

"In accordance with the EC decision, we're forced to pay fines for over-supplying (agricultural products),” said Slovak Agriculture Minister Miroslav Jureňa. “We regard the decision as unfair, and so plan to take legal action."

Based on a proposal prepared by the Czech Republic, the ministers approved the setting up of a working group that will co-ordinate the stance of V4 countries on the potential reform of the sugar market and its consequences.

Polish Agriculture Minister Andrzej Lepper said that the EU's attitude towards countries that joined the EU in 2004 is not based on the principle of partnership.

The agriculture ministers in Palarikovo also expressed their satisfaction with the agreement reached between Poland and Slovakia following a branding dispute over the traditional cheese known as ostiepok in Slovak and oscypek in Polish. The agreement was signed by the Slovak and Polish ministers on Monday.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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